Saunders-Ream Teams Ms. Fix It With Mr. Rooter

Saunders-Ream’s new television spots for Mr. Rooter pair the plumbing franchise with home improvement guru JoAnne Liebeler.

The Dallas shop selected Liebeler, known as Ms. Fix It, as spokesperson because she fit the female target audience. “She’s warm and believable,” said agency president Fred Ream.

Liebeler’s friendly woman next- door appeal is well known to cable TV viewers. In addition to hosting Room for Change and Building a Future on Home & Garden TV and Home Savvy on The Learning Channel, she makes guest appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show and Good Morning America.

In four 15-second TV commercials, conceived by agency creative director Jeff Valz and freelance copywriter Michael Payer, Liebeler touts the Waco, Texas-based client’s “points of distinction.”

In one ad, a uniformed plumber dons a pair of surgical booties before entering a home.

A second spot speaks to the consumer’s fear of being cheated. Mr. Rooter estimates first, giving the customer the power to decide, said Valz.

In “Mister,” Liebeler flips through a phone book full of “Rooters,” advising viewers that only one plumber deserves the title “Mr.”

“There’s Roto-Rooter, Rescue Rooter and Rambo Rooter,” said Valz. “We had to get across that there’s only one Mr. Rooter.”

The fourth ad plays it for laughs. Starting with “Wouldn’t it be nice if … ,” Liebeler fantasizes about the perfect man who could “fix leaking faucets, clogged drains … and wouldn’t it be nice if he wasyour husband? Quit dreaming … “

Directed by Dee Johnson of LBJ Productions in Salt Lake City, each ad is tagged “No ordinary plumber.”

Spots broke Sept. 10 on NBC, A&E, Discovery, Lifetime, HGTV and the Food Network. Print will appear in first-quarter 2002.